Many times, I have conversations on the topic of salvation. My focus is always on God’s incredible love and grace that he demonstrated definitively at the cross.
At some point, someone will say, “God’s grace provided salvation but in order to be saved, we need to accept it.”A variation on this is when someone says, “You have to trust in Jesus to be saved.” Or “We are saved by faith and not works.”
To me, what I see the bible saying over and over, is that there is an infinitely important distinction between salvation by grace and any other statement made about having faith, trust, or belief.
To illustrate what I mean, please consider the following two sentences and ask yourself which one brings you the greatest level of peace:
I have salvation because I have accepted God’s love and grace.
God has saved me because of his love and grace and I accept that.
Once in a while, a page I follow called, “Hebrew for Christians” is so on point, I just have to share it. This isn’t new news, just Good News very eloquently stated.
“Therefore, since we have been justified (δικαιωθέντες) by faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Rom. 5:1-2).
We must be careful never to think that God’s salvation is not really secure, or that we may lose our place in God’s heart because of our unfaithfulness… Thinking that our salvation depends on our faithfulness puts us back under the “curse of the law,” since we are attempting to establish our own righteousness rather than trusting in the love and power of the One who “justifies the ungodly” (Rom. 4:5). No, from beginning to end (and including the middle) we are kept by “the strength of His might” and the “surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe” (Eph. 1:19). We must always remember that “if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, how much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:10). If the death of Yeshua brings us God’s grace, his undying life sustains and secures us in that grace.
It is the power of God that both saves and sanctifies you, and not the merit of religious observance: “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3). We do not trust in ourselves, nor in the virtue of our faith, but rather in the great faithfulness of our Savior and God, blessed be He (Psalm 40:11; 121:7; Jude 1:24; Phil 1:6).